Getting Started

Once Upon a Time

Jumping in for a quick ROW80 check-in.  I just set my goals on Monday, so I’m not quite up to speed yet, but I am getting started.  I’ll be working on the planning stuff tonight to see if Wednesday is a good day to schedule as a writing day.  Not that writing or writing-related stuff doesn’t happen pretty much every day.  I just want to have a few dedicated days each week where I know I intend to spend at least an hour diving in.

I think my writing practice days will be Mondays and Fridays.  Those are the easiest days usually to fit in a quick free writing session because, while they both can be busy days they both tend to be a little more flexible for some reason.  We’ll see how that goes.

For now that’s really it.  I’m still setting things up for my year, so there’s lots that’s still amorphous (I love that word and probably use it too much), but it feels pretty good.

Oh, a quick geekly thing.  We watched Agent Carter last night.  It was so good, I’m thinking of rewatching the episode just to catch any little tidbits I missed!  We also watched Galavant which I was sure was going to be stupid and which absolutely isn’t.  It’s funny and charming and lots of fun.  Also a great way to time something in the oven if you’ve downloaded the episode, because it’s about 20 minutes.  Double-bonus!

Okay, really that’s it for me now.  Tons to do, not much time left before the evening commute, all the usual stuff.  I’ll be back next Wednesday for ROW80 (probably going to stick with that once-weekly check-in schedule rather than the Sunday and Wednesday check-ins although I don’t know that for sure yet).

Drop me a note and let me know what you’re spending time with–I might need to add it to my mix!

The Weekly Geek, December 10, 2014

Yarn

Yarn for knitting geekery

This week has been slow.  Well, I’ve been slow.  I am still obsessing over bullet journals and planners in general (check out the Passion Planner and Spark Notebook).  I can fixate on planners and notebooks and pens and paper and office supplies forever.  I love (oh, such a light little word) them ridiculously.  And this time of year, nearly a new year, I get even more excited about planners and such.

I have resisted buying a planner (except for the UnCalendar which is a crazy flexible system) even though some of these look really good.  I know from past experience that I don’t tend to use all of the sections in any specialty planner, and then I feel guilty because I spent a lot of money (because none of them are really cheap) and didn’t make good use of the thing.  But you can do bullet journaling in any notebook, and the Passion Planner and Spark Notebook both offer downloads so I can just print out what I want to incorporate into my ever-evolving system and leave the rest on the computer.  No waste of paper, no leaving lots of blank pages that make it look like I didn’t do anything for days or weeks or months.

My list of things I want to work on and give time and attention to is long and varied, though, so some sort of planner system would be really helpful (or so I tell myself, and I’m pretty sure it’s true and not just an excuse to buy more notebooks and pens and sticky notes).  It’s funny (in that non-humorous way) how often and how completely I can forget to follow my own advice.  I can coach others and then turn right around and forget everything I told them when I’m doing my own thing.   I have found myself wanting a planner where I can incorporate more than just schedules and to-do lists.  I have a nice set-up coming together, I think.  I’ll write more about that here and on MuseCraft™ (my coaching site) in January, though, when I will have it all assembled and have bright, shiny pictures to share.

ROW80 check-in:

Um…I was supposed to do stuff, wasn’t I?  I got lost in planner land.  I’ve been thinking about my story planning a lot.  I’m reading through Outlining Your Novel Workbook.  (And really, I should have been done reading and heavily into the actual work by now–I’ve had it almost a month.) But I haven’t been writing, not plans nor writing practice.  Something has to change.  I need to get more specific. So for the coming week:

  • Spend at least 15 minutes 4 times working on outlining/planning
  • Spend at least 15 minutes 3 times doing writing practice
  • Tweet when I finish each session (accountability!) using the #ROW80 hashtag

So what’s going on in your world?  What are you fixated on?  What are you doing or not doing?

 

Geeky Writing Goodness

Outlining

My ROW80 check-in:

For all my proclamations about what I planned to do with my outlining and writing, etc., and how I had a plan to not be overcome by the end-of-year, holiday season slackerness that often hits me…I’m slacking a bit.  So this week I set a goal to just read through the rest of K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel Workbook without doing any of the exercises, making notes, etc.  Just read it through to help myself get a general vision of my book.  Hopefully next week I’ll be reporting that I got that done and am actually back into doing the outlining.

I am still playing with the Bullet Journal technique, making notes and getting a good feel for the system so I can translate it into a novel-planning system.  I have to say, the more I look at this stuff the more excited I get by all the possibilities.  I haven’t even started officially using it yet, and I’m already a huge fan.

And now the just-for-fun stuff:

Reading: On to the third book in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptic series, Half-Off Ragnarok, where we get to meet one of the Price boys, Alex.  I’m having lots of fun with this one and really hope Shelby is going to be sticking around.

Watching: Marvel marathon!  So far, in the eleven years since we started planning our own Thanksgiving weekend viewing marathons (before that I just went with what was on Sci-Fy/SyFy), this one was my favorite.  We watched all of the Marvel (not animated) movies plus all of the Marvel One Shot short films inserted in the appropriate places.  For a great list of the movies, the short films, and the TV episodes in order, check out this list from MarvelTV.org.

Listening:  I’m still catching up on the StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  Appropriately enough, I am on “Episode 97: Every Part of the Pig.”  It’s about superheroes and there’s lots of talk about the Marvel universe.

For the coming week, I’m going to keep reading and then working through the outlining book, and I’m going to gather the best posts, etc. about Bullet Journal to share.  And there will be more Seanan McGuire in there, because I’m on a kick now.  What do you have planned for the week?

 

The Weekly Geek, November 26, 2014

Mushroom Collage 2

Just a quick post this week as I head into Thanksgiving prep insanity and a lovely, long, four-and-a-half day weekend.

First, a ROW80 check-in:

  • I’m moving along in K.M. Weilands Oulining Your Novel Workbook.  I’ll be diving into her Structuring Your Novel Workbook when I get to the structure section in the current workbook per advice from the author herself.  The outlining workbook is excellent!  It follows the advice in her Outlining Your Novel book and breaks the steps down into bite-sized chunks that even my over-excitable, scattered brain can latch onto and work with.  The workbook makes it really easy to break the process down into small steps, which is my favorite way to work.  I’m so happy with my choice to jump into this book right now.
  • I am creating a new way to keep a novel notebook.  I’m basing it in part on the Bullet Journal technique.  I just came up with the idea Monday night, so I haven’t done a lot with it yet, but I’m excited to see how this might work out for me.  When I have a couple of months of working with it under my belt, I’ll do a write-up.
  • I only got around to doing writing practice once this week.  But it was something.  This is clearly something I need to find a way to make room for in my life again, because it for some reasong isn’t just happening magically because I said I want it to.  Really, some writing habits!

Geeky stuff:

  • Fairy rings!  The photos above are from a bunch I’ve been taking in the parking lot at work over the past three-ish weeks.  I’ve been here twelve years, and this is the first time mushrooms have sprouted.  And what’s even better, they’re only growing in the little landscaped space right next to my car.  No where else.  I’m pretty sure this is a special gift for me from the fairies.  Also, it’s really interesting seeing how one batch seems to just disappear, and a new crop springs up in almost-but-not-quite the same spots.  And they all look different, different colors, different sizes, different shapes (and that one that is all open like a broken eggshell started as a closed, round-topped mushroom).  Really enjoying this little show and getting back to taking more photos.
  • I returned to Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid world and am currently reading Midnight Blue-Light Special, the second book in the series.  There’s whimsy and a touch of silliness, and yet there’s a really strong story in there, too, so you don’t get bored or annoyed with the light touches.  Ms. McGuire is a master at combining light and amusing and sometimes silly bits with incredibly strong story and engaging characters.  I’m enjoying this one a lot and will jump right into the third book when I’m done with this one.
  • Still catching up on StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  I love these because they’re easy to just listen to.  I don’t feel like I need to be taking notes or memorizing things, and yet I can feel my understanding of story structure deepening and my critical capacities sharpening.  It’s good stuff.  Today I am listening to “Episode 94: Dodge Ex Machina,” and I highly recommend it.  They are doing writer improv, taking random story elements and demonstrating how to create stories out of them.
  • Getting ready for our traditional Day-After-Thanksgiving tv marathon.  This year we’re doing the Marvel films, starting with Iron Man.  I don’t know if we’ll make it through all of them over the weekend, but we’re going to try!

Those are the highlights over here.  Everything else is story planning and working on a coaching package and a possible writer’s retreat for next year.  All very exciting in my head but not much to actually write about yet.  What about you?  What’s going on in your geeky and/or writerly world?

The Weekly Geek, October 30, 2014

Tissues
Not a lot to report this week as I’ve had some sort of horrible crud and have been sleeping a lot.  I’m going to do a short list of what I’ve been into this week.  What have you been reading, watching, playing, loving?

  • Reading: Richard Gleaves’ take on the Sleepy Hollow legend.  I finished SLEEPY HOLLOW: Rise Headless and Ride (Jason Crane Book 1) and am currently reading and very much enjoying the second book, SLEEPY HOLLOW: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane Book 2).
  • I’m continue my marathon listening to the StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  Right now I’m listening to them discuss the most recent Star Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, and I love how they pinpointed what was wrong with it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on (Episode 80: Crewsicles, if you want to listen).
  • I’m working on plotting my story and resisting signing up for NaNoWriMo this year even though it feels really srange to me to not be doing it.
  • Watching: lots of tv in the background as I’ve tried to nap away this bug, but I have been watching Scorpion.  At first I thought it was going to be too cheesy, but the more I watch it the more I like it.  I hope it’s catching on with others so we can keep it for a while.

That’s it for me for the moment.  I’m going to go off and nurse this cold-thing.  See you next time, hopefully with a progress report on the novel planning.

The Weekly Geek, October 22, 2014

I know everyone’s using the word “geek” these days.  Also, this may not be a weekly feature.  But I’m really liking the feel of the name, so I’m keeping it.

Woven Newspaper

I’m not one of those deep-into-one -thing sort of geeks.  I’m more of a dabbler, with lots of love for a variety of geek-leaning things.  And I’ve been wanting to use this blog to keep track of some of it.  But I kept thinking I needed to have a plan for organizing it all, and so I never got started. Then I realized, I don’t need to have a fancy, shiny, perfect plan at all.  I just need to start writing about the things that thrill me, right from where I am now.

What you’ll see here:  lots of talk about TV shows and movies, especially horror and sci fi stuff, about books and writing, ghosts and ancient ruins and haunted houses and archaeology and cemeteries.  Pretty much anything that I love I’ll be sharing here.

So, jumping right in, here’s what I’ve been into the past week-ish:

  • Went to see Evil Dead the Musical, because how could I not?  I love Army of Darkness and have been known to quote it too many times, so I couldn’t resist a live-action musical, and I was not disappointed.  Campy and fun and a great way to spend a Friday evening.  And there’s one song that ran throughout that keeps popping into my head.  “Look who’s evil now!”  Catchy, infectious little tune.  If you see the play, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
  • Attended the annual Time Travelers’ Ball and Market Faire.  I didn’t have time for a new costume this year, so I pulled out my faithful Italian Renaissance garb from my SCA days and had a great time.  I love going to costume events–Renaissance, Regency, Steampunk, mixed like Time Travelers’ is, but I don’t sew and so often don’t quite manage to get good costumes together.  But I can dream.
  • Lots of TV watching: a Tremors marathon, Sleepy Hollow, Gotham, Children of the Corn (the original), and Pumpkinhead (What? It’s almost Halloween.).
  • Doing a lot of catch-up listening to StoryWonk Sunday, my favorite writing and story podcast.  I’ve started listening in the car during my commute, which has made said commute much more pleasant.
  • Listened to the first episode of Dusted, a StoryWonk podcast about Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Worked on assignments from a writing class I’m taking, Sufficiently Advanced Magic, from Alaistair of StoryWonk (I’m a huge StoryWonk fan–you may have guessed).  I’m writing a classic-style haunted house story, and the planning so far is lots of fun although I find myself really wanting to travel to New York State to research the area.  I’m trying to appease myself with lots of online pictures and tourism websites.
  • Finished reading Crane (Legends Saga Book 1) by Stacey Rourke.  An extreme amount of grammatical and word-use errors made it really hard to enjoy, but I did finish it, and the story itself was a fun take on the Sleepy Hollow legend.
  • Discovered Smart Pop Books, anthologies filled with essays about all sorts of pop culture geeky goodness.

That’s what’s going on in my world right now.  Some weeks won’t have all of this stuff.  It’s just been a pretty full week of enjoyable distractions.  Next time will probably be mostly about writing and reading, but we’ll see.  What about you?  What are you loving right now?  What are you reading?  Watching?  Is anyone else loving Gotham a lot?  Can’t wait to hear what you have to say.